Nov 072010
 

This was originally going to be a long, considered piece about the meaning of  ‘post-modern’ comedy in an age in which, perhaps more than ever, we need creative people of all kinds to reclaim art’s radical roots, to fight with us against the politicians and bankers and ideologues who are set on bringing our health service, our welfare system, our educational provision to their knees . . . but fuck that, if Frankie can’t be fucking bothered with all that fucking shite, the cunt, then nor can I . . .

There’s a trap laid by so many contemporary comedians, a carefully-constructed vicious circle that renders them immune to  criticism: you can’t object to my racism or sexism or homophobia or my jokes about paedophilia or the McCanns or learning disability or Kerry Katona’s mental health or Susan Boyle’s appearance or rape or cancer because if you do, you reveal yourself as some uptight, anachronistic, puritanical, repressed Guardian reader with no sense of humour. I saw Ricky Gervais- one of the finest comic actors and writers of our generation- at the Apollo a couple of years ago and he played precisely this game. A lot of his material was, in essence, dodgy old ’70’s st